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I call this post ‘the first’ because this recipe inspired me to begin writing down the ingredients I used to make my dishes. I have a frightful memory and since the curry turned out decent, I decided to keep track of what went into it. Thus the birth of my pink recipe book. Now if I were to show you this book, the first thing you would notice is there are no quantities. All I have are ingredients and a very basic description of the process. There are two reasons to it. First because I don’t like writing! Second because I forgot the quantities!! Moral of the story, make complete notes!

Anyway… this dish was among the first I cooked for a dinner party, and this being a post about firsts (my first post) it only seems apt I share it with you!

**Substitutions are provided at the end of the recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds chicken (it could be boneless or with the bone)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 sticks of cinnamon
5 cloves
5 pepper corns
2 medium cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 Tbsp desiccated coconut **
10 almonds **

**garnish – few sprigs of fresh coriander (whole or chopped), teaspoon of toasted almond bits

METHOD:
Marinate chicken in yogurt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground pepper and salt and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours.

In a large skillet (with lid) heat 1 Tbsp oil on medium high heat. Add cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns first, wait about 15 seconds and add the onions and garlic. Saute until onions are lightly caramelized (turn a light brown).

Add the chicken and let it cook for 5 minutes. When the chicken has firmed up a little, add 1 cup of water, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer with the lid on.

While the chicken is cooking, finely grind the almonds and coconut in a processor. The end result should resemble a powder.

After about 20 minutes when the chicken is tender, add the ground nut mixture and stir till well combined.

At this point if you like the gravy/curry thick, let it simmer till it reaches desired consistency. If it needs thinning out, start by adding 1/2 cup of water and continue to add water till it suits your taste.

Garnish with sprigs/chopped coriander and toasted almonds.

SUBSTITUTIONS:
- Almonds can be replaced with cashew nuts
- Fresh or frozen coconut can be used in place of the desiccated kind, however the consistency of the ground coconut with the nuts will be more of a paste than a powder. This wont affect the outcome of the dish.
- Coriander can be replaced with a sprig of mint, or mint chopped into fine strips

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